Labor and Liberals sink LGBTIQA+ Commissioner, but advocates vow to fight on
Just Equal Australia has criticised Federal Labor and the Coalition for blocking the appointment of an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The lobby group says it will continue to campaign for the appointment of a dedicated LGBTIQA+ Commissioner to the nation’s top human rights body.
President of Just.Equal Australia, Brian Greig, said it was very disappointing the Albanese Government and Liberal Opposition today joined forces in Federal Parliament to block the appointment.
“It's particularly appalling Labor blocked the appointment given it was Labor policy at the 2019 election,” Greig said.
“The AHRC has specific commissioners for Sex, Race, Age, Disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, Children and Human Rights, but there is no dedicated Commissioner for LGBTIQA+ human rights.”
“There is clearly an urgent need for a specific commissioner given the increasing attacks on LGBTIQA+ rights and inclusion.
“Whether it’s trans exclusion in sport, sacking teachers, ending unnecessary surgery on people with innate variations of sex characteristics, gay blood donation, inclusive schools programs or the so-called ‘religious freedom’ debate, our issues need an informed voice.
“Australia needs an articulate, educated, and front-footed LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner to explain the facts, defend human rights principles and help guide government policy.”
“The lack of an LGBTIQA+ commissioner sends the message that discrimination against us is less important than against other minorities”, Mr Greig said.
The Greens today moved an amendment to Government legislation in relation to the appointment of commissioners to the Australian Human Rights Commission. The Greens urged the Government to uphold its previous commitment to appoint an LGBTIQA+ Commissioner.
Both Labor and the Coalition voted it down.
Labor said the other Australian Human Rights Commissioners such as the Sex Discrimination Commissioner currently handle LGBTIQA+ issues.
However the Commission has not made a public statement on LGBTIQA+ isuses since October 2021 and has no LGBTIQA+ human rights projects currently listed on its website.
Mr Greig said Just.Equal will continue its campaign for an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner.
“We will campaign particularly hard if the Albanese Government appoints a religious freedom commissioner as part of its promised Religious Discrimination Bill, but fails to also appoint an LGBTIQA+ Commissioner.”
For a copy of this statement on the web, click here
For more information contact Brian Greig (WA) 0407 776 961.